Thrown for a Loop


Today has been an up and down day.  I think I’m beginning to feel less antidepressant in my body.

I had to run errands, and driving along with my ipod playing I’m having a good day, then comes on a song from Traffic, and I’m near tears.  That music takes me back to the early days of my marriage, while we were still in the Navy and living in Okinawa.  My H introduced me to all sorts of music I’d never heard before; Who, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and groups like Buffalo Springfield, Cream and Traffic.  Ever since the summer of 1979, Traffic has been a favorite.

So why does some of my favorite music make me cry?  Because I so want to go back and do it again.  All of it, the good and the bad.  Just let me enjoy it all.  I want my youth back.  I want to be 20 again, naive, suspicious, and oddly hopeful.  It took years to drain the hope and youth from me.  It happens to all of us, I know that too.  But this is ME I’m talking about, and it is no comfort to know there are others out there just like me; aging and hating every damn minute.

I’ve got to get past the regret, but I’m having such a tough time.  I guess that’s why old songs make me feel old and dead inside.  I keep myself occupied, and I enjoy my days, but there are moments that just hit me and I wish for the past with all my heart, knowing, of course, there is nothing I can do.  I exercise now every day.  I’m watching my diet.  Walking more and walking farther (weather permitting).  Trying to be healthier.  I’ve lost some weight, but still have about another 20 to go, but I’m still working on it.  How come I’m not getting past regret?

I realize dragging regret around is counterproductive, and maybe I’m making a little progress, I’m not sure.  This regret weighs on me, sends me into fantasies of youth.  It’s preventing me from living in today.  I’ve gotten better at living day by day, but sometimes I want so much to be living day by day 30 years ago.

Do you mourn your youth?  That’s what this feels like.  Some days you’re ok, then there’s a reminder, a song or a place name that takes you back, and I am mourning the loss of my youth.  I know eventually I’ll reach the next level: acceptance.  Graceful acceptance.  How do I accomplish that?  How do you age gracefully?  What does it mean exactly?  I’ll need to find out so I can move on to it–graceful acceptance of aging.  That’s a goal, right?  Could I use that as an answer to an interview question:  “What are your goals; where do you see yourself?”  “I see myself accepting aging and doing it gracefully as I slowly lose the ability to think.”  Think that would be the right goal to reveal to a potential employer?

Which brings me to the issue of going back to work.  Still full of questions about what to reveal, and how much, or when.  I tend to be nakedly honest and after 51 years I have found that (A) it makes people uncomfortable, i.e. “TMI”, and (B) it doesn’t always work in my favor.  It’s really hard to change that facet of my personality.  In fact I’m not sure I should change that.

I feel pretty stuck, which sucks as a place to be, we all know.  Thank goodness only two of us in the house are going through a midlife crisis at once.  Sometimes I can offer support to S, but other times I have to lock myself in my bedroom and feign a headache.

OK, Goal #1 – make my peace with aging, #2 – age gracefully, #3 accept that I can no longer do the work I used to do, no matter what the DI people say.  I maybe need to move #3 to #1, but I hope to accomplish all three this year.  Perhaps I’ll reach peace when I reach my weight goal?

Thank you for your patience with me.  I’m normally very decisive, but this aging thing has thrown me for a loop and it’s been a lot to absorb.

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7 thoughts on “Thrown for a Loop

  1. Okay kid, as I am two years your senior, I have something wonderful to tell you – aging is great! I went through hell when I first noticed my own wrinkles starting (ten years ago) but now I kind of like them! And I’ve stopped feeling guilty about being older than some of my friends. I think for women there is this awful media-driven pressure to always look perfect and gorgeous. Sorry if this is all a bit mixed up but for some reason this year I finally got over it – I am 53, have the beginnings of a turkey neck, a flabby tummy and upper lip wrinkles from smoking. I dress in a way that covers the tummy, and I put lipstick on that doesn’t ooze into those lines – and I feel fine about me now. When you are old and wise like me you will discover the freedome of accepting aging too! But at 51 – hey, you’re just a kid! Love ya.

    • Thanks for the pep talk. That’s what I need–to know that it’s ok on the other side of life. lol

      I have a ways to go before making peace with aging, but I’m closer than I was. I think.

  2. let me add another layer to this, as someone who is not going to grow old whether gracefully or not, some of us would love to have your problem. not that you want to hear that. this is about you and how this is affecting your joy of life. being nostalgic is something i think we all do and sometimes we cry. again this is about you not us.

    maybe when you embrace the woman you are now, right now, you will be able to look back fondly and forward with anticipation but most importantly love the woman in the mirror.

    you are absolutely going to feel some things more intensely without your meds. we are meant to feel and work through our feelings. accept them as part of who we are and talk about them. as you talk more about these feelings the less power they will have over you.

    by the way i spent one year on okinawa, camp butler. it was fun, and those memories are great. sitting here, stroking my cat and writing to you is also fulfilling. find what gives you joy and try to bring it into your life as often as possible.

    as someone who has interviewed in the past i would have found it hilarious to give that answer, obviously though i wouldn’t have hired you:)

    • I thank you ever so kindly for your words of encouragement and support. Like my H likes to tell me, there’s only one way to avoid aging. So if aging is the only choice I have, I can’t understand why I am having so much difficulty accepting that.

      Having people like you around makes my life more interesting and full. I have to get past the physical and mental problems I have and know how good I’ve really got it.

  3. Hi…Maybe the reason you want to go back in time is just because your life right now has questions in it….especially related to job finding and you’re uncertain what you’re going to find, IF you’re going to find, what you’re going to tell them when you do find…You’re also ‘not accepting’ of yourself right now…Until you make some headway in those areas it will be hard to leave the past and your youth behind.And It’s not that I never have nostalgia because I do at times, and I’m not always happy with the fact I need to lose 15-20 pounds…but those moments are temporary and for the most part I realize I have to make the most of today because that’s what we have is today.

    If you find your moods are slipping maybe slow down on how fast you stop your anti-depressants at least till you’re settled maybe in a job.

    Regarding how much to say when you are interviewed etc. for a job…I don’t think you have to tell them you have MS ..as that might frighten a new employer…but say something to the effect your previous job was very stressful and time consuming and you wanted a position such as ‘they’ are offering…’and feel it is just the right place for you right now’…example only…lol

    In any case hope you feel better soon…take care Diane

    • Thanks for your support and your suggestion. I’ve thought about scenarios where I express the desire for less stressful position, I guess I’m not sure most people will really believe it. Still I think that is the route I’m going to take. That I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m just not that interested in the high stress positions.

      My big question is, how will I adapt to working such a job? Not that it’s beneath me to do reception, but to let go of the amount of power and importance of an Exec position is proving surprisingly difficult. I’ve applied for several positions I only HOPE I can still do. But I’m starting to apply to more “entry level” positions. My ego is screaming at me not to let go. I know I’d make a great receptionist, though.

      • I can understand that it’s difficult to go from an ‘exec’ position to a lesser one. Before I retired on disability I was Manager to a dept. and then assistant to a director of the organization…and then all of a sudden some of my self esteem was lacking when I was ‘just’ a stay at home wife…but you may find that having less stress is actually a relief for you. Hope you get some replies….Diane

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